With former President George H.W. Bush’s health taking a turn for the worse, Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News paid the 41st President the sort of compliment one would expect from an Upper West Side liberal:
Everybody in this country ought to respect the man known as Bush 41, now more than ever. It’s not that he was a great President - he wasn’t, though he was so much better than his own son - but he has led such a great American life.
Translation: You’re a schmuck, but not as a big a schmuck as your son. Now that you have been out of office for nearly 25 years and are nearing the end of your life, it turns out you’re not such a bad guy after all.
There really is no place for him in the current Republican Party. Bush the elder isn’t nearly mean or stubborn enough. He is too much of a gentleman, possesses too much of a quality almost gone from modern politics, both sides, a quality called grace.
That would be the current Republican Party that has nominated John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two election cycles and might very well nominate Jeb Bush in 2016.
Of course, Lupica makes it clear he didn’t think Bush 41 was much of a gentleman when he let Lee Atwater sick Willie Horton on Michael Dukakis or when he appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.
But, you see, Lupica thinks Bush has “grown in stature” since he left the White House.
Translation: Bush no longer talks like a Republican or, heaven forbid, like a conservative.
I should note that in February 2011, I took Lupica to task for berating Sarah Palin after she expressed her concerns about The Arab Spring in Egypt. Lupica wrote, “She also questions the motives of the people in the street, the ones whose courage will make Egypt a better place when this is all over, whoever is in charge next month, or next fall.”
Well, it turned out Palin’s concerns (and those of many others) were well founded. Egypt is not a better place today. Mohamed Morsi is in charge and is ruling the country by decree.
With this in mind, the words of Mike Lupica should be taken (if Nanny Bloomberg permits) with a grain of salt.
From an alert bureau at UPI:
On Friday, David Wright signed a seven-year contract extension with the New York Mets worth $122 million. The Mets third baseman was due to become a free agent after the 2013 season.
Since debuting with the Mets in 2004, Wright has become the team’s all-time leader in virtually every offensive category. But aside from winning the NL East in 2006, the Mets have been a mediocre team to say the least.
Simply put, the Mets are one trick pony with Wright. By signing him to such a long-term deal, they tie their hands in terms of drafting prospects and acquiring veteran players to compliment him in the lineup.
While Wright has a legitimate chance of attaining 3,000 hits and entry into Cooperstown, I do not see post-season baseball coming to Citi Field so long as he wears a Mets uniform. The Mets are making the wrong move with Wright.
Yet it would not surprise me if the Mets were to do an about face in the next year or so and trade Wright for a boatload of prospects.
During a press conference in Washington yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for “their real achievements on the ground” citing the safe streets of the West Bank, the overhaul of government institutions and helping to enhance Israel’s security.
Clinton then berated Israel for announcing new settlement construction stating such activities “set back the cause of a negotiated peace.” I suppose Hillary thinks Palestinian unilateral declarations of independence are just fine and dandy.
Well, last I checked Palestinians were throwing stones at PA buildings because of high prices, low wages and government corruption.
The PA will never achieve anything tangible until it stops naming its schools after suicide bombers, refrains from using its official newspaper from printing cartoons insinuating that Israel poisoned Yasser Arafat, and using its state run TV to air music videos calling Israel “the enemy” and a “snake”.
There was, of course, a time when Hillary Clinton spoke out against the “hateful rhetoric” of the Palestinians. But alas that time has long since passed.
Yesterday marked a big win for liberty, productive bipartisanship, and your 800-year old right to trial-by-jury.
Thursday night, the Senate passed an amendment, authored by Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Mike Lee (R-UT), which altered the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to protect citizens from warrant-less arrest and preserve the right to jury trial. The amendment passed 67-29.
Amendment No. 3018 bridged the aisle, knitting political fellowship between “freedom caucus” conservatives and civil-libertarians on the left. For his part, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) gave two impassioned speeches, both before and after passage. Here’s a hint where he stood on the matter:
If you don’t have a right to trial by jury, you do not have due process. You do not have a Constitution. What are you fighting against and for if you throw the Constitution out? If you throw the Sixth Amendment out? It’s in the body of our Constitution. It’s in the Bill of Rights. It’s in every constitution in the United States. For goodness sakes, the trial by jury has been a long-standing and ancient and noble right. For goodness sakes, let’s not scrap it now.
Pretty simple, right? Apparently not. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has kept busy crafting his contra opus that hinges on indefinite detention, without trial, for Americans suspected of ties to terrorist organizations or belligerents –writ large – on American soil.
Parroting Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, it strikes me that Graham’s disgust with “government overreach” is often reserved for Obamacare. Fair enough. But offensive as it may be, it pales in comparison to an act of Congress that allows the Feds to deny due process and jury trial – as Sen. Paul remarked a legal presumption dating back to the Magna Carta.
I hear you. And I’ll remind you (and Sen. Graham) that American courts have regularly succeeded in prosecuting terrorists, both foreign and domestic. More importantly, controversial invocations of the PATRIOT Act only hint at the breadth of non-terrorist, alleged future-crimes the government is capable of imagining. Erase your right to a trial by jury, add a dash of “indefinite detention” and we’re stuck living in a potential police state.
In a country where you’re more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than by a terrorist (jihadi, or otherwise) I’m regularly astonished by our general apathy toward the protection of civil liberties. Big government doesn’t just make you buy health insurance.
Anyway, big win for us Americans who refuse to take our daily dose of fear from the political dinosaurs still residing in the Senate.
GOP consultant Mike Murphy has responded to my column from yesterday, “The Quisling Consultants.” He is not happy with me, to say the least. In fairness, his response is re-printed here in its entirety, with my response below that.
Saw your screed in the AmSpec.
I deeply resent the Nazi angle. A lazy, cheap shot of the worst kind.
I have not worked at Navigators for two years. They list me on web site as a strategic partner because we have a deal where they refer potential issue advertising clients to my real firm the Revolution agency. I never worked on any of the NPR stuff, never took a dime for any of it. Your should try at least a little fact checking before you reprint a unsubstantiated clip off the internet search engine like that.
I’m a conservative, just not a paleo con. I’ve worked for “moderates” like Gov Christine Todd Whitman, Arnold (the recall) and Meg Whitman and for movement conservatives like Sen Jeff Sessions, and Ollie North, I’ve also worked for candidates in between like Governors Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Terry Branstad, Lamar Alexander, Larry Pressler, Mitt Romney (Gov race), and a bunch more at the House, Senate and Gubernatorial level. I’ve helped right of center candidates beat the left in Canada. In the 28 years I spent running GOP campaigns, I had a success rate of about 75%.
I did not work for any of the establishment GOP committees or Super-pacs this cycle or last. The last time I was invited into the WH to give my opinion was in 1991, and I told them the polls were an illusion and I thought they were on a road to defeat. I was never invited back. (You can ask Bill Kristol, he was there.)
I live in Los Angeles CA, not DC. Whatever gilded aristocracy of the Washington consultant/media complex you carp about is not a place where I regularly reside. I’m hardly an establishment GOP favorite. (In fact the last time I had dinner in a hugely expensive Georgetown five star restaurant, it was with your beloved icon Rush Limbaugh. We had a good time.)
But I have been in the fight for the conservative side for nearly thirty years. Your piece was lazy, simplistic, uniformed and lacked any reasonable standard of fact-checking. And as I said, the traitor/Nazi stuff was deeply offensive.
Here’s my response:
Would you have preferred Benedict Arnold?
No conservative in his right mind goes onto a notoriously liberal television show of a notoriously liberal network, sits next to John Podesta and promptly turns on his own team. Which is exactly what you did when you went on Meet the Press and slammed Rush Limbaugh. It is passing strange that you tell me you have broken bread with Rush, then go out there and clobber him on a liberal TV show. Since any real conservative knows better than to do what you did, and I know you are a smart guy, one can only assume that your attack on Rush was quite deliberately calculated.
This is not the first time you have gone after conservatives. Your previous attacks on South Carolina’s Senator Jim DeMint and Governor Sarah Palin are typical of how moderate Republicans play this game.
You are at it again in the current issue of Time magazine.
What you propose is anything but new.
In fact, this is the kind of nonsense that was preached all the way back in 1950 by New York Governor Tom Dewey in his Princeton lectures. Dewey, as you recall, lectured Republicans about the “vociferous few” and the “impractical theorists” — meaning the Reaganesque-Rush Limbaugh-style conservatives of the day — in the GOP who were intent on driving out all the GOP moderates and liberals and into the arms of Democrats. Concluded Dewey: “The results would be neatly arranged, too. The Republicans would lose every election and the Democrats would win.” Dewey said all of this, of course, following his own two defeats against FDR and Truman. In both of which elections he ran as the Great Moderate Hope — and got clobbered. The second time, I might add, when everybody in politics alive in the day expected him to trounce the unpopular Harry Truman.
Surely you remember when former President Ford insisted to the New York Times in 1980 — four years after he ran the typical moderate losing campaign — that Reagan was too “extreme” to win a national election.
When you note in your Time piece that “we still design campaigns to prevail in the America of 25 years ago” you are incorrect. Every single campaign beginning with the Bush 41 re-election campaign of 1992 - 20 years ago - has run head-long from Ronald Reagan and conservatism. And the results are, accordingly, dismal. Say again, dismal.
What you fail to note is that the campaigns of 1980 and 1984 were an overwhelming success — precisely because unlike all but one that followed, not to mention the Ford disaster of 1976 that preceded them — they were run with a presidential nominee who fully embraced conservative principles. Even George H.W.Bush realized he had to do this to get a win on Reagan’s coattails in 1988, and Lee Atwater saw to it. But notably, once on his own, President Bush, as good a man as can exist but a thorough-going moderate, wound up with a dismal 37% of the vote. The GOP has never recovered from this Bush/moderate/”compassionate conservatism” business.
You also skirt the obvious.
Anybody with any knowledge of the way the Washington world works knows that your name on the Navigators web site is because you are allowing them to benefit from their association with your name as a high-profile GOP consultant. And it works like a charm.
Here’s NPR itself reporting their decision to hire Navigators — and they specifically mention you by name. The only reason to do so, in the world of Washington, is to send a message to GOP lawmakers via your name. A message that says, in essence, “Listen to us… we’re really not that bad… hey… you know ole Mike Murphy, don’t you? Well Mike’s firm… yada yada yada.”
There is a growing fury out there among conservatives with the “consultant class” of which you are a card carrying member. The idea is fast growing (and one doesn’t have to be a “Paleo-Conservative” which neither you nor I claim to be, to believe this) that none of you are serious about limited government, much less willing to stand up against the Establishment GOP that has brought us to this pass. And saying, in essence, that Republicans should campaign for the dissolution of marriage and get on with supporting the legalization of polygamy, polyamory, bigamy etc. (the inevitable legal consequences of gay marriage, as Justice Scalia has noted) is only the modern version of Dewey or Ford saying conservatives of the day were too extreme and out of touch.
The term “Quisling” as I documented, is in the vernacular meaning someone who is a traitor of some sort… to principles in this case. It has nothing to do with Nazis. Most assuredly you are not a Nazi. I will be happy to Americanize and use the term “Benedict Arnold.”
Mike, I wish you well. But what you did to Rush Limbaugh on national television — particularly in this climate — was disgraceful. If you haven’t apologized to him at this point you should. Ditto with Senator DeMint and Governor Palin. Not to mention conservatives all over the land.
Again, the reason you are provided these mainstream media platforms is because you can be counted on to do exactly what you did do. You know it, everybody knows it. But it plays well with liberals — particularly in places like Los Angeles.
Thanks for your response.
Best wishes for continued dialogue from this Reagan conservative,
On Wednesday afternoon, Center for American Progress reporter Scott Keyes reported on comments made by Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee. According to Keyes on Think Progress:
Cloaking his predilection for the rich as concern for the less fortunate, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued Wednesday that raising taxes on the wealthy would primarily hurt the poor. Lee’s comments came on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) radio show as the two discussed the looming fiscal showdown in Congress.
This prospect, frequently repeated by conservatives, that raising taxes on the wealthy will decimate the economy and destroy job creation (and thus hurt the poor) is simply not supported by empirical evidence. As these three graphs show, the nation’s best GDP growth and job creation rate in the last 60 years actually occurred when the top marginal income tax rate was between 75 and 80 percent. The worst period for both measurements occurred when the top rate was 35 percent, as it stands today. In fact, job growth and gross domestic product has little, if any, correlation to the tax rate on wealthy Americans.
Unfortunately, Keyes’ opinionated article misses two key qualifiers in explaining the full picture related to job growth and tax rates:
First, as I explained last week in a post at Newsbusters refuting similarly misleading statements by Paul Krugman about tax rates and the economy, today’s economy is not comparable to the one seen decades long-gone, for two primary reasons: first, we didn’t have a growing entitlements crisis decades ago. Second, we had never-before-seen economic dominance in the decades following World War II, dominance that is not seen at all today, and our leadership in the field of education has slipped dramatically. So it is wishful thinking to compare today’s economy to the one seen when tax rates were at 80%.
While Keyes is not a Nobel Prize-winning economist, it’s disappointing that he failed to provide context to a key part of his article.
Second, the history of tax increases on the rich shows a distinct impact on the non-rich. Consider that the individual income tax and Alternative Minimum Tax originally targeted the uber-wealthy, yet now greatly impact the middle-class and lower-middle-class. And as graphed by the think tank Just Facts, the Congressional Budget Office expects “bracket creep” to raise taxes on all Americans — including a 71% increase over the next 25 years on a two-parent family with two kids earning the median income.
Now, technically, Lee was making an economic, not a tax argument, against tax increases on the wealthy. But since Keyes never makes this clear, it’s perfectly legitimate to point out how the liberal inclination towards taxing the rich invariably taxes the non-rich.
The Center for American Progress is decidedly liberal, and has been credibly accused of having an unusually close relationship with the Obama Administration, which seems to have made taxing the top 2% of earners its first post-election priority. Never mind that the top 1% earns 50 times as much as the bottom 20%, on average, yet pay 1,500 times as much in taxes. Or that raising taxes on the top 2% of earners would only pay for 1.88% of the next decade’s spending.
Even the Washington Post’s editorial page is calling for President Obama’s leadership on entitlement reform to prevent a fiscal crisis, one that would definitely impact the poor the most. Yet Think Progress and much of the rest of the liberal establishment are refusing to acknowledge these facts, and would rather focus on economically harmful class warfare.
Obama taking “Fiscal Cliff” Fight to the Public (CBS News)
Egyptian Draft Constitution passes; Protesters vow Return to the Streets (CNN News)
Complaints aside, most face lower Tax Burden than in 1980 (NY Times)
Israel to build 3,000 Settler Homes after UN Vote (BBC News)
The GOP’s Medicare Confusion (Washington Post)
Fast Food Strikes in NYC hit Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s as Workers demand better Pay (Huffington Post)
Consulate lacked requested ‘Man Traps’ (Washington Times)
Immigration Unity hits Hill reality (Politico)
Gay Marriage comes to Supreme Court (ABC News)
Panetta: US foresees ‘enduring Presence’ to fight al-Qaida in Afghanistan (MSNBC)
In my latest at CFIF, I report on the warnings from former Congressman and Assistant Defense Secretary Paul McHale about how the Obama administration has gutted our capability to respond to “truly catastrophic events” such as major WMD terrorism on the American mainland.
To handle such CBRNEs (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) incidents, the Bush Administration provided for creation of three CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces (CCMRFs), under presidential command and control, as part of the Northern Command. Each CCMRF would feature 5,000 personnel, able either to respond to three separate, simultaneous events or to be “tailored or combined as needed.” By the time G.W. Bush left office, two CCMRFs already were operational.
Following the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) overseen by the Obama team, however, two of the three CCMRF groups were dropped. In doing so, the Obamites ignored warnings from two major, statutorily convened groups of experts.
And, as McHale made clear, the CCMRFs would be entirely subject to the Posse Comitatus Act (against using the military for domestic law enforcement), so civil liberties would be thoroughly protected.
This is an issue that merits more attention — but, alas, the prospect of “sequestration” as a result of the “fiscal cliff” would make it even more difficult to provide the funding necessary for the other two CCMRFs.
Tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives might hang in the balance.
Guitarist, singer/songwriter Mickey Baker passed away in France on Tuesday. He was 87.
Baker was mostly a session player with numerous jazz and R&B artists but his most notable collaboration with Sylvia Robinson as Mickey & Sylvia. Intended to be the rock n’ roll version of Les Paul and Mary Ford, Mickey & Sylvia had a monster hit in 1956 with “Love is Strange”. More than a quarter century later, the song got a new lease on life when it was included in the movie Dirty Dancing.
Here is the obit I wrote for Sylvia Robinson in September 2011.
I leave you with Baker playing some rhythm & blues.
Yesterday, outfielder B.J. Upton signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.
The elder Upton brother spent eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Upton hit a career high 28 homeruns in 2012 on the strength of a strong second half.
However, Upton is a notoriously streaky player and has had occasions where he has been known not to run out groundballs and has jogged after flyballs much to the ire of Rays manager Joe Maddon who had occasion to remove him from several games.
With this in mind, I’m not sure how well Upton is going to get along with Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. Shortly before Gonzalez was dismissed as Florida Marlins manager in June 2010, he removed Ramirez from a game for not hustling in the field.
There’s no question that the 28-year old Upton has enormous talent and the best may yet to come for him. But it would not surprise me if there is an on-field clash between Upton and Gonzalez this season.
After the UN General Assembly voted to raise the Palestinian Authority’s status from an observer entity to a non-member observer state, Susan Rice delivered a particularly strong pro-Israel statement in opposition to the resolution.
Yes, Rice has voted against anti-Israel resolutions before but has done so with very little enthusiasm as was the case when she voted against a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements in February 2011. Despite her opposition to the resolution, she spent most of her speech calling Israeli settlements illegitimate.
So why has Rice changed her tune? Well, of course, to mollify opposition to her becoming the next Secretary of State should President Obama choose to appoint her. I’m not sure a single forceful pro-Israeli statement will be enough to overcome her statements on Benghazi but it could certainly help her with Senators who are sitting on the fence.
I’ve had enough, more than enough, of Barack Obama saying that we should be “our brothers’ keepers.” All of us should utterly reject that notion. I explain why here.
Obama did it again during his official Thanksgiving proclamation. I explain why the claim is misguided both in terms of faith and of the American political tradition.
From the standpoint of faith:
In not a single place in the Bible is it ever written that we are indeed our brothers’ keepers. (Look it up!) And for good reason: To be a “keeper” of another person is not necessarily to help the other but instead to control him. An Internet site called “Cup of Wrath” explains it well: “No one is their brother’s or sister’s keeper, unless that person is incapable of taking care of him or herself … Loving thy neighbor as thyself doesn’t mean being your neighbor’s keeper or overseer. Instead it means taking his or her best interests to heart.”
Again, the command from Christ is not to act for others, but to serve others - to love the brother as an equal, not in loco parentis. To assert parental responsibility for a brother is to assume a role - to wrongly assume it - that God has reserved for Himself. Even if undertaken with the best intentions, to be a brother’s keeper is to commit a sin akin to vainglory by putting oneself above one’s proper station.
From the standpoint of American political theory and tradition:
…. to be a “brother’s keeper” is to tread dangerously close to the realm of George Orwell’s fictional “Big Brother” - an all-powerful state of the sort explicitly and rightfully rejected by our nation’s Founders and by large majorities of every succeeding American generation.
I read somewhere (I can’t find it now) that the “brother’s keeper” emphasis is a central tenet of the black liberation theology espoused by the infamous Rev. Wright. It is a Marxist bastardization of traditional Judeo-Christian tenets. I can’t vouch for that explanation myself, but it rings true. Either way, even if Obama’s intentions are laudable on this front — a respect I went way out of my way to afford him, although one can certainly argue he does not deserve such respect for his good intentions — those intentions are antithetical to traditional and valuable understandings. We should all love our brethren … but we should not “keep” them, lest we ourselves in turn become “kept.”
Scott Rasmussen and his poling outfit do an excellent job of keeping us up to date with who’s on first in our national elections. Other times he peels down unto the culture to bring us such jewels as this morning’s findings that 69 percent of American adults are following reporting on the demise of the company that made Hostess Twinkies. A remarkable 31 percent of Americans (many of them with crumbs on their shirt-fronts) tell Rasmussen they are following the story “very closely.”
Perhaps this national preoccupation with a soon-to-be-unavailable sugary delight explains why we encounter so many pie-wagons when we venture to the mall. On other stories there is less attention being paid. Take Benghazi (please). On the available evidence, it would appear that a majority of American believe Benghazi is the name of the late character actor who played tough-guy roles in “Anatomy of a Murder,” “The Bridge at Remagen,” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
With these priorities, it’s not hard to explain the current twinkie in the White House.
Egypt speeds new Constitution amid Morsy Protests (CNN News)
Inside the Talks: Fiscal Framework emerges (Politico)
T-Ball War in the Middle East (National Review)
British Press needs new Regulator, Report says (NY Times)
Powerball Officials: Record Jackpot has been won (CBS News)
Hostess Executive Bonuses: Twinkie-Maker to seek Approval for $1.8 Million in Bonuses during Liquidation (Huffington Post)
Justice asks for more on Solyndra (Washington Times)
Syria Rebels kill ruling Party Official with Bomb (ABC News)
US Growth Rate revised up to 2.7% (BBC News)
Google-FTC Settlement may be in the works (Washington Post)
I wished I had learned before writing my column on Joe Ginsberg’s passing that after his playing career, Ginsberg worked 16 years for the Jack Daniel’s distillery. Jack Daniel’s puts out some Major League products. So we can say that Joe stayed in the bigs for more than his 13 years as a catcher.
Just the latest reminder of who we are dealing with, and why we should be dealing with them as little as possible.
The only kernel of goodness in this otherwise unbelievably horrific story is that the father thought she was too young…
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has put together a great video entitled “I, Pencil”, after the short allegorical story of the same name by Leonard Read. It’s an excellent, non-academic, explanation of the complexity behind things we perceive as simple.
One important lesson is that effective central economic planning is simply impossible because no person, and no small group of people, can possibly know enough to make the right plan. (And of course, central planning is antithetical to liberty even if it were potentially effective.)The importance of voluntary cooperation among people who don’t know each other (and don’t necessarily care about each other) becomes clear. It’s a lesson which should be imparted to everyone, including our children.
Please view and share widely.
The web page at http://ipencilmovie.org/ also has further commentary on the video, as well as hosting the video in a larger format, so I recommend checking it out on that page.
Oliver Stone Screws it up Again (NRO)
Obama, Boehner completely Ignoring Negotiations (Politico)
Senior GOP Lawmaker Bends on Taxes (WSJ)
The New Future of Spacetravel (NewScientist)
Cubans to Pay Taxes for First Time in 50 Years (NBC)
Costco Special Dividend to Help Shareholders Beat Fiscal Cliff Rate Hike (CNN)
Marvin Miller, who led the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) from its inception in 1966 to 1982, passed away today after a short battle with liver cancer. He was 95.
Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director of the MLBPA, Miller had been the chief economist for the United Steelworkers of America.
Miller succeeded in getting MLB owners to agree to salary arbitration. It was through this process, that Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were granted free agency thereby ending the reserve clause which effectively bound a player to his team for life until said team traded, sold or released him.
But above all, Miller organized the players themselves who undertook brief work stoppages in 1972 and during spring training of the 1980 season before the 50-day strike during the 1981 season. The MLB owners intended to destroy free agency and with it the MLBPA. They failed miserably. It could very well be why Miller isn’t in the Hall of Fame. The Veterans Committee has denied him entry on several occasions. It will be interesting to see how they vote when he is on the ballot again in 2014 given the posthumous induction of Ron Santo earlier this year.
Now some will argue that Miller’s efforts turned baseball from a sport into a business. But baseball always has and always will be a business even if it isn’t subject to anti-trust laws. All Miller did was help players get a bigger piece of the pie they helped bake and in the process helped make the pie much bigger thus making the owners a whole lot richer as well.
With Miller’s passing, I am planning to re-read his 1991 autobiography A Whole Different Ballgame (co-written with Allen Barra). I would highly recommend this book. While Miller vastly underestimates President Reagan, it is nevertheless a compelling memoir of a man who led a most interesting life.
Several years ago I wrote a column here advocating “censorship” during the so-called “family hours” on broadcast TV. (I stand by that column’s conclusions.) In it, I described a show without naming it, involving mothers bragging to sons about getting “laid” and all sorts of other obnoxious events. That unnamed show was “Two and a Half Men.” Well, now one of the show’s stars has announced that the show is “filth” and said that people should not watch it. The actor is correct: The show is filth, and people should not watch it.
There is every good reason for such filth to be banned from the public airwaves for at least a few hours each evening. Leave it to cable or satellite TV or whatever other privately paid-for outlets to air the smut they want. The community has the right to set standards for airwave spectrum licensed out to a few lucky, selected companies.
Meanwhile, don’t watch the show. And don’t watch anything else like it. And don’t patronize the advertisers.
That is all.
Mexican Beauty Queen killed in Drug Shootout (CNN)
China paper falls for Onion’s “Sexiest Man Alive” Award to North Korean Dictator (CBS)
No Worries: Lapland is Rising Out of the Ocean (Baltic is Receding) (NBC)
O.E.C.D. forecasts Low Growth and Global Downturn (NYT)
Who’s got the Facts? Orice Williams Brown Does (WaPo)
Local NY Backlash against Wind Energy Corps (NRO)
Arafat’s Body Exhumed, Sampled for Evidence of Poision (Politico)
As the years go by, I recognize fewer and fewer names in that birthday list that appears in most daily newspapers, rife as it is with rockers, rappers and suchlike. On yesterday’s peaceful Sunday in the “Tampa Morning Bugle” I did recognize the name of our own Ben Stein, and I extended to him best birthday wishes.
Another familiar name yesterday morning was Bucky Dent, who celebrated his 61st. As the “Bugle” is a family publication, Dent’s middle name, or at least the one he is known by in New England, was not used. And a good thing. I haven’t checked the “Boston Globe” yet.
Time Short to Fight Obamacare in Courts (Politico)
10,000 Immortals: Long-term, Limited Presence in Afghanistan (WSJ)
Catalonian Independence Bid Stalls (Reuters)
Syrian Rebels Seize Dam and Airbases (NYT)
Betsy Woodruff: Girls, not Women (NR)
Art from China’s most famous Dissident Artist (FP)
LA School Sells Cheesecake to Raise Money for Anti-Obesity Program (LA Times)
When sports fans think of Canada they are most likely to think of hockey or other winter sports like figure skating, curling and skiing.
But football is every bit as much a Canadian game as it is an American one. Today marks the 100th playing of the Grey Cup. It is named after Albert Grey, the 4th Earl of Grey who was the Governor General of Canada at that time.
Initially played between university teams, the Grey Cup is awarded to the champion of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Today’s match is between the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders. The Argos have won 15 Grey Cups, more than any other CFL team. The Stampeders are two point favorites to win but the game is being played at Rogers Centre in Toronto and that has to work in the Argos favor.
The two biggest differences between the CFL and NFL are is that the football field is longer and wider in the CFL and there are only three downs in the CFL as opposed to four in the NFL. I’m sure football fans who’ve never seen the Canadian game would be thrown off when the announcers say, “Two and out.” But it makes for a faster paced game which emphasizes passing over rushing.
I saw a handful of CFL games when I lived in Ottawa in the 1990s. By that time, the Rough Riders were a joke and by the end of the decade had folded. This was also the period where American teams were included. In 1995, the Grey Cup was won by the Baltimore Stallions. While it may have been good for Baltimore fans who missed the Colts and not yet seen the Ravens, let’s just say it’s one of those moments Canadian football fans would just as soon forget.
Thirteen years before he was elected to Congress, JC Watts played in the 69th Grey Cup between the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Edmonton Eskimos. Watts was the quarterback for the Rough Riders and they were heavy underdogs against the Eskimos who had won three straight Grey Cups. The Eskimos were led by Warren Moon (who would go on to become the only player to be inducted in both the CFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame) and were heavy favorites to repeat. After all, the Rough Riders were 5-11 in 1981 but earned a spot in the Grey Cup after upsetting the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Eastern Conference Final.
Incredibly, the Rough Riders had a 20-1 lead over the Eskimos at the half. But the Eskimos came back to tie the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Watts through a pass to future CFL Hall of Famer Tony Gabriel who was playing with tear in his left knee. Gabriel caught the pass with one hand but the referee called a penalty. Then Gabriel’s knee gave out and he never played again. The Eskimos got the ball back and kicked a field goal to win the game 26-23. In his book Turnover: The Fumbling of the Ottawa Rough Riders, Brent Dowdall (who was a classmate of mine at Carleton University) wrote:
The 1981 Grey Cup has become the Ottawa Rough Riders’ version of the ground ball through Bill Buckner’s legs. So close, should have been, would have been, but ultimately wasn’t.
Will today’s game be as compelling? With both Gordon Lightfoot and Justin Bieber scheduled to perform at halftime anything could happen. The game begins at 6 p.m. EST.
UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: The Argonauts beat the Stampeders 35-22 to win the 100th Grey Cup. Argos QB Ricky Ray won his third Grey Cup. He won his two previous Grey Cups with the Eskimos in 2003 and 2005. When the Argos acquired Ray from the Eskimos last year, Ray was considered past his prime but tonight he proved his critics wrong.
But the Argos defense that was most critical. The Stampeders scored a single touchdown at the end of the game when they were well out of it.
It is the Argos 16th Grey Cup win in franchise history and first since 2004.
Former world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho died yesterday after being taken off life support. Camacho had been shot in the head while sitting in a van in his native Puerto Rico. The driver of the van was killed instantly. Camacho was expected to recover from his injuries but subsequently went into cardiac arrest rendering him brain dead. He was 50.
I watched a lot of boxing in the early 1980s and remember Camacho’s flamboyant ring attire and his lightning quick speed. Camacho made his pro debut in 1980 winning his first 38 fights defeating the likes of Edwin Rosario, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Vinny “The Devil” Pazienza.
His undefeated streak came to an end in February 1991 when he lost a controversial split decision to Greg Haugen while defending the WBO Light Welterweight title. Camacho had a point deducted when he did not touch gloves with Haugen in the 12th and final round of their fight. However, three months later, Camacho regained the title from Haugen.
Camacho is the only boxer to win championships in seven different weight classes (super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight). These championships were won in three different decades. In his later career, Camacho fought Roberto Duran, Julio Caesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya. He also defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in his final fight. In 2008, Camacho won the WBE Light Middleweight Title at the age of 46. He finished his career in 2010 with a record of 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts.
Throughout his life, Camacho had scrapes with the law and last year was shot several times during a carjacking.
Cocaine was found in the van but it is unclear what the motive of crime is as no one as of this writing has been arrested in connection with what is now a double homicide.
I leave you with what Camacho did best with some musical accompaniment by (who else?) The Village People.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?